‘Pull a cracker’ Brighton Gay Men’s Chorus@The Dome

Michael Hydes December 12, 2016

Once again the Brighton Gay Men’s Chorus have led us into the Christmas spirit with their annual Christmas show.


This year the show was called Pull a Cracker and was certainly full of the sparkle and snappy explosions you expect from a good box of Christmas Crackers.

It was great to be back at the Dome Concert Hall as it has the excellent acoustics that show off the lad’s talents to the max.

On stage there was a generously decorated 20′ Christmas tree, and the concert began with a young boy finding a book beneath its branches. As he read from its pages the story introduced a wonderfully up-tempo arrangement of Underneath The Tree that had lots of fun-filled choreography to match.

You knew right from the start that this wasn’t going to be a concert lacking in energy. It practically sparkled as they sang I am what I am, Can’t stop the feeling, Can’t get you out of my head, and a medley of seasonal songs. Their wonderfully sequin encrusted waistcoats were certainly a hit with everyone.

Not that everything had a party feel to it. You Raise me up, The Coventry Carol, and Sure on this Shining Night not only slowed the tempo to offer a gentler selection, they also showed off their talents with sweeping harmonies and perfect timing that took the breath away.

Kristian Houlston kicked off the solo’s by singing the Starting Line with wonderful depth and generous reach. Charlie Bedson sang McArthur Park deeply against the choirs support with an arrangement that was faithful to the original but also hinted at music that kept me guessing. Chris Baker and Rod Edmonds sang a heartfelt rendition of A place called home that was rapturously received and brought me to tears, (although since Chris is my husband I suppose that was to be expected).

David Stoakes sang Never fall in love with an Elf with exceptional comic relief, as Stephen Tucker did likewise with I’m knitting a stocking for Santa. Ant Pay and Nick Ford sang Almost Paradise with stunning harmonies and Graeme Clark brought us to a basement club in America’s deep south with Christmas Blues. There wasn’t a solo that I didn’t enjoy.

Of course there was the usual banter to break up the music and a couple of singalong Carols to bring everyone deep into the journey. I should think that everyone left feeling happier and a great deal more spirited than when they arrived. As I stood outside waiting for a cab one group was happily singing the encore song I wish it could be Christmas every day. Impressive since it was throwing it down with rain!